Pictures taken with the Motorola ZN5

December 12, 2008

In the past 2 years I’ve used quite a few 5 megapixel camera phones: the i-mobile 902, the Nokia N95/N95-3/N95-4, the Sony Ericsson K850i, the Nokia N82, and now the Motorola ZN5 (ZINE)

Without mincing words, the Motorola ZN5 (ZINE) is a mediocre phone that takes stunning pictures!

Spec-wise, the ZN5 is similar to the K850i. The 5 megapixel (Kodak branded) camera features auto-focus, macro, a xenon flash, and an active lens cover.

Exposure and light metering are excellent. Colors are rich and well balanced. Low-light performance is pretty good for a CMOS sensor, but the i-mobile 902 is still better thanks to its CCD sensor.

The ZN5 beats the speedy N82 with an even faster startup time and faster (LED-assisted) auto-focus – it’s almost as quick as a point-and-shoot digital camera!

The macro is somewhat disappointing because it’s unable to focus on objects as closely as the other devices. This is not a deal breaker, however.

When the time comes to upload pictures there’s no 3G. No accelerometer means no auto-rotation, just like the i-mobile 902. No GPS means no geo-tagging – then again, it’s also missing from the K850i.

Unfortunately, video recording with the ZN5 is limited demoted to QCIF (176×144 pixels at 15 fps), vs. QVGA (320×240 pixels at 30 fps) with the K850i, and VGA (640×480 pixels at 30 fps) with the other devices…

The verdict? As a camera, the ZN5 is one of the best 5 megapixel devices on the market today – it’s up there with the fabulous N82. As a phone (or a video recorder), it’s a different story.


2nd anniversary

November 22, 2008

tnkgrl Mobile is 2 years old today!

It’s been a great 2nd year. I’ve looked at a lot of devices, both short and long term, like the Nokia N95-3, Apple MacBook Air, Nokia N82, Apple iPhone 3G, Nokia E71 and HTC Dream/T-Mobile G1.

I’ve hacked the Asus 701 (Eee), the Vulcan Flipstart, the MacBook Air SuperDrive, and the Acer Aspire One. There’s even been some crazy adventures

But I’m planning to bring you a lot more goodness – in fact, Matthew Bennett and I are starting a weekly podcast. So come back soon and come back often :)


Tasty bits – CTIA and beyond

April 27, 2008

Wait! Did two months of tasty bits just go by, CTIA and all? Hmmm yes…

HP 2133 (Mini-Note):
- HP 2133 Mini-Note UMPC Reviewed (Verdict: Rich Man's Eee PC)
- Lightning Review: HP 2133 Mini-Note
- HP Mini-Note 2133 officially official, reviewed
- HP Mini-Note gets unboxed, causes extreme jealousy
- jkOnTheRun review- hands on with the HP Mini-Note UMPC

Asus 701/900 (Eee):
- Video Hands on With the 8.9-inch Asus Eee PC 900
- Asus Eee PC 900 Hits U.S. May 12 for $549
- 1.2 GHz Pentium M in your Eee PC? No problem
- Hands-on with the 9-inch Eee PC
- ASUS' 9-inch Eee PC, now with living pixels!
- Eee PC 900 gets dissected, looks about the same as the Eee PC 700

Nokia N810:
- Android on the N810: Working on it!
- Nokia Internet Tablets to get Ubuntu and Qt ports
- Nokia's N810 Internet Tablet WiMAX Edition gets official

Nokia N95:
- 8 GB North American Model N95 available: $779 online
- North American Nokia N95 8GB (Nokia N95-4) Unboxing

Nokia N82:
- All About Symbian Review: Long term battle: Nokia N95, N95 8GB and N82
- Nokia N82 gets blacked out for retail

Other Nokia:
- Eight useful codes for S60 devices
- 10 Awesome Applications for Symbian Phones
- Your S60 smartphone as a drum machine!
- WalkingHotSpot trial available for download
- Nokia E71 Pops up Down Under
- FCC Gives Nokia 6220 Classic the Nod
- T-Mobile’s new mystery 3G Nokia handset outted
- Nokia secretly shows E71 at Mobile Wor… er, in Sydney
- Google gets even chummier with S60, releases search app
- S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 2 gets broken down to the nitty gritty
- Nokia N96 gets in-depth review months ahead of release
- Things may be looking brighter for Nokia N96, Xenon flash in the works?
- Nokia readies iPhone-ish "Tube," disses Apple's sales
- Nokia E71 sneaks into the wild once again
- Exclusive: latest update on the hotly anticipated Nokia Tube
- The Nokia Guide: Getting the most out of your Nseries’ camera

Apple iPhone:
- iPhone Pwnage Tool Getting Public Release Tomorrow; Unsigned Firmware Support For All
- iPhone to Support GPS, Stereo Bluetooth, Nike+, Battle Hackers
- iPhone firmware 2.0? You’re damn right we got it!
- Nike+ going WiFi and 3G, headed to iPhone
- The second-gen iPhone: 3G, GPS, only slightly thicker – Engadget
- Touchpad turns your iPhone into a remote trackpad
- Palm emulated on the iPhone: finally we can leave that IIIc at home
- Easy 1.1.4 jailbreaking with iNdependence, Ziphone, and… iTunes?
- iPhone PwnageTool released!
- 3G iPhone rumors building up steam
- iPhone gets VoIP and chat options thanks to Fring
- iPhone firmware hints strengthen case for GPS support
- iPhone feature rumor round-up: Jabber and iTunes control
- Flickr Find: Lilliputian iPhone unboxing
- Twinkle: location-aware Twittter client for iPhone
- iPhone video recorder with audio support debuts

Sony Ericsson:
- Sony Ericsson's X1 reviewed
- XPERIA X1 white paper reveals yet more details
- Is this Sony Ericsson's P5 or "Paris"?
- Specs revealed of the real (or fake) Sony Ericsson "Paris"
- Another shot of Sony Ericsson's Paris?
- Yet another convincing Sony Ericsson Paris pic — open, this time

LG:
- LG KG750 Is Sleek of Line, High (Five) of Megapixels, Shoots DivX, Called Secret
- Live Pics: MediaFLO for AT&T on the LG Vu and Samsung Access
- LG Vu further slides into view
- Hands-on with the LG Vu
- Thin is in: LG shares a glimpse of its 5 megapixel hottie phone

Samsung:
- Samsung-built, Google-branded Android phones due later this year?
- Rumored Prada II specs surface in purported leaked press release

Motorola:
- T-Mobile considering Motorola Z10 for 3G launch?
- Motorola’s 2008 Roadmap Revealed
- Spy shots of the Motorola ZN5
- Motorola's ZN5 gets clearer, Kodak co-branding and all

Android:
- Android gets handled, now with Street View
- T-Mobile confirms it'll have an Android device sometime this year

Other:
- Meizu M8, Something You Burn in a Paper Bag on Someone's Porch
- T-Mobile's 3G Network Rolling Out May in NYC, Coincides With 3G HTC Touch Dual?
- Sharp-Willcom D4 UMPC With Intel Atom Centrino, Vista Hits the States on June 20th
- Crowded Ultraportable Party Gets Dissected
- Meizu prototype caught in the flesh at CeBIT, we handle it
- Meizu M8 interface gets tweaked once again. A few pixels to the left, please?
- Meizu's M8 gets more UI tweaks for its music player
- More MID videos: IdeaPad U8 and Aigo
- Mozilla Mobile shows 5.9x performance increase on ARM device
- Opera Mini 4.1 beta released- good gets better
- Sharp Willcom D4: Vista in your hand for $1,526
- Life with the MacBook Air


Nokia N81 8GB music phone

April 19, 2008

As you’ve probably noticed, it’s been a bit quiet around here lately… But fear not. Despite being rather busy, I’ve managed to review some products and line up a few more!

The first one of these is the Nokia N81 8GB, kindly provided by Nseries WOM World. It’s a music phone with 8 GB of built-in flash storage, WiFi, and a 2 megapixel camera – the successor to the microdrive-equipped Nokia N91.

Take a look at my pictures and videos (1 and 2).

Read the rest of this entry »


Nokia N82 camera

March 12, 2008

A few months ago, I compared three 5 megapixel camera phones with auto-focus and flash – the i-mobile 902, the Nokia N95, and the Sony Ericsson K850i.

I concluded that:
- The i-mobile 902 was the best camera overall
- The Nokia N95 was the best camera for my purposes
- The Sony Ericsson K850i was the best camera for most people

Enter yet another 5 megapixel camera phone with auto-focus, macro and flash, the Nokia N82.

Now that I’ve used the N82 camera extensively (see pictures above), how does it fit into the picture (pun intended)?

Well it definitely improves upon the N95 camera in terms of features by offering a xenon flash, faster startup time, and faster auto-focus (as well as providing a lens cover, which is missing on the Nokia N95-3).

It matches the K850i camera in terms of features with the brighter xenon flash and quick operation, and beats it in terms of performance with the better Carl Zeiss optics and richer colors.

However, it still lags behind the i-mobile 902 camera in terms of sensor noise and low-light performance.

The N82 beats the K850i in video performance (VGA vs. QVGA resolution), but the K850i trumps the N82 when the time comes to upload pictures (tri-band HSDPA). Also, the N82 is a smartphone, whereas the K850i is a feature phone.

So ultimately:
1) The i-mobile 902 is the best camera overall, but is limited in terms of phone features
2) The Nokia N82 is the best camera for people who want a smartphone with a xenon flash – the Nokia N95 is the best camera for people who (like me) want a smartphone with (US compatible) HSDPA
3) The Sony Ericsson K850i is the best camera for people who want a feature phone

I’d seriously consider retiring my N95-3 for a version of the N82 with US-compatible HSDPA. Are you paying attention, Nokia?


Nokia N82 goodness

February 29, 2008

In the year and a half I’ve been writing this blog I’ve used a lot of nice camera phones, including the i-mobile 902, the Nokia N95 & N95-3 (which is currently my main device), and the Sony Ericsson K850i. Usually, I purchase them and keep them for several weeks or even months before selling them used, but in good condition…

But lately, I’ve also been fortunate to have access to devices through Nseries WOM World, each for a few weeks at a time. So far I’ve played with the Nokia N800, Nokia N76 and most recently the awesome Nokia N82. I have to admit that I’ve become a bit jaded with all this technology, but the N82 is the only device I’ve reviewed so far that was difficult to return!

There’s no question that the N82 falls into the über phone category – it’s pretty much a candybar version of the original N95, but with a xenon flash, which makes a significant difference in extremely low light (more on this soon).

Here are some pictures and a couple videos (one and two) of the N82.

Compared to the N95, US version, it removes US-compatible HSDPA, but adds the oh-so-important lens cover, and the xenon flash. The N82 features a smaller and dimmer screen (2.4″ vs. 2.6″) and a micro-USB connector (vs. mini-USB on the N95). Here are additional observations:

Pros:
- Same crazy features as the N95 (5 megapixel Zeiss camera, WiFi, GPS, etc…)
- Lens cover & xenon flash
- Faster camera startup time
- Automatic screen rotation
- Candybar form factor (lighter, fewer moving parts)

Cons:
- No US-compatible HSDPA
- Smaller, dimmer screen
- Poor build quality (chrome paint flaking off on this well-used demo unit)
- Unable to stand on its side
- Fingerprint magnet

So, now for the million dollar question. Is the Nokia N82 the ultimate N-series device on the market today?

In my opinion, yes – especially if Nokia decides to make a version with US-compatible HSDPA. The N82 feels faster than the N95, and offers subtle improvements to the user interface that make it easier to use on a day-to-day basis. In fact, I think the N82 is the best camera phone currently available.


Tasty bits – CES to 3GSM

February 7, 2008

It’s been a busy month full of tasty bits, with CES and MacWorld wrapped up, and 3GSM coming up.

Asus 701 (Eee):
- WiMax-Enabled Asus Eee PC Confirmed
- Ten-Mod Eee PC Stomps Competition, Still Room For More
- Asus press event summary: WiMAX, Eee PCs, and R50A
- How to: boost the display resolution on an Asus Eee PC

Nokia N810:
- Hook a USB device to your Nokia N810 thanks to USB-On-The-Go
- Nokia E90 vs N810: Part 1 – head to head
- Nokia E90 vs N810: Part 2 – GPS, Apps, Web and Multimedia

Nokia N95:
- Nokia N95 makes a nice GPS receiver for Nokia N800
- Nokia N95 8GB Wireless Sharing in Action
- Nokia N95 8GB with US 3G passes FCC

Nokia N82:
- Nokia N82 – part 1 – The Physical, the Camera
- Nokia N82 – part 2 – GPS, Applications and Performance
- Nokia N82 Smartphone Reviewed In Depth (Verdict: High-end Hotness)

More Nokia:
- Flip Silent for S60: Silence Calls by Flipping your Phone
- Sh-sh-shake it Like a Polaroid Picture!
- Nokia E90 Communicator review: Gear Diary
- First glimpse inside Nokia S60 Touch. Going beyond Multi-Touch

Apple iPhone:
- iPhone 1.1.3 Jailbreak Has Issues With GPS, Official SDK?
- Makayama Adds Voice Recognition to the iPhone
- iPhoneCam streams video from your iPhone over WiFi
- iTransmogrify brings more flash content to the iPhone
- Etymotic hf2 headset for the iPhone
- Pocketguitar for the iPhone lets you strum on the multitouch
- 1.1.3 iPhone jailbreak goes LIVE

LG:
- LG Viewty hands-on
- LG’s HSDPA ultraportable runs Vista on Silverthorne
- LG shows a KS20 clone with WiMAX
- LG’s silver Prada gets a new on-screen QWERTY

Samsung:
- S60 powered Samsung G810 to be announced at MWC?
- Samsung i900 to take on LG KS20?

Other:
- WiBrain B1-H UMPC
- UMPC & MID trio: LimePC comes in three sizes
- BlackBerry 8xxx = BlackBerry 9000?
- Hands-on with Mio’s dual-front GPS phone concept
- Hands-on with the WiBrain B1 UMPC
- iriver 3-inch touchscreen “GSM phone” headed for the States
- Skyfire browser for Windows Mobile is game changing, does Flash
- Garmin gets official with its nuvifone
- Modu mystery unravelled, look ma, a modular handset
- A Tale of 40 Follow-ups (and a LimePC video)


Tasty bits – 35 (holidays edition)

January 7, 2008

Happy new year :)

Here’s last month’s tasty bits, a little behind once again! I’ve decided to stop numbering the column hereafter…

JKK added HSDPA to the Asus 701 (Eee) – I’m working on a similar mod using a Sierra Wireless AirCard 875U HSDPA modem…

Also I’ve started using Qik to stream live video with my Nokia N95!

I’m keeping an eye on all the CES madness this week and I’ll be at Macworld next week, so stay tuned :)

Asus 701 (Eee):
- WiMax-Enabled Asus Eee PC Confirmed
- How to add internal 3G HSDPA to Asus Eee PC
- How to add touch panel to Asus Eee Pc
- It’s official: upgrading the Asus Eee PC memory keeps warranty intact
- eeeXubuntu: Ubuntu distilled for your Eee
- Ubuntu on the Asus Eee PC: Part 1 (or How to run a functional Ubuntu install off a USB drive)

Nokia N810:
- Nokia N810: unboxing and first impressions
- Canola2 Now Out!

Nokia N95:
- Nokia N95-3 Finally Gets an Update to v 11.2.009
- The N95 classic hits v20 firmware
- The N95′s camera quality? It just got better…
- Hands-on with the Nokia N95 8GB for North America!

Nokia N82:
- Nokia N82: impressions after a week…
- Nokia N82 hands-on
- Nokia N82 preview: First look
- Nokia N95, N95 8 GB and N82: The evolution of the multimedia computer

More Nokia:
- Cellphones: Alleged Nokia N96 Spy Shots Look Yummypianoblacklicious
- New Slider: Nokia’s Patent Reveals Innovative Six- or Eight- Megapixel Slider Phone
- Video streaming from your phone QIK-ly, as in: instantly
- All About N-Gage – Totally CONFIRMED Star Wars N-Gage Video
- emTube – YouTube client for S60 phones
- Nokia Internet Radio
- Clarification: Upcoming Nokia IS a QWERTY Nseries

Apple iPhone:
- Breaking: iPhone Firmware 1.1.3 Video and Evidence Confirms Update Is Real, Breaks Unlock, Third-Party Apps
- How to Install Applications on iPhone 1.1.2 (Video Tutorial)
- Syphon lets you save iPhone text messages
- Control Pro Tools with your iPhone
- Apple doesn’t give us MMS on the iPhone, so the community does
- iPhone gets video recording capabilities
- Not all is lost: partfoundry developing GPS module for iPhone
- Fixing YouTube on your Jailbroken iPhone
- Mobile Safari plug-in downloads files to your iPhone/iPod touch
- Apple relents, sanctions custom ringtones!

OQO Model 02:
- OQO Announces model e2 with Built-In HSDPA Mobile Broadband Capability
- OQO does WiMax and 64GB SSDs

Neonode N2:
- Neonode N2 officially coming to the US
- Review of the unique Neonode N2 multimedia phone

BlackBerry 9000 (aka. BlackBerry 8xxx):
- BlackBerry 9000 specs revealed, our early Christmas present to you
- BlackBerry 8xxx hails from Rogers!
- BlackBerry 9000 series spy shot revealed?

Samsung:
- Hands-on with the Samsung G800
- Hands-on with the Samsung P520 Armani
- Samsung’s P720, F490 make their video debut

Other:
- Google Maps for Mobiles shows your location, even without GPS
- Verizon Wireless will open network for non-Verizon devices, services
- Photo of the Sony Ericsson P5i Leaked
- Wibrain’s B1 UMPC gets showcased on video – Engadget
- Hands-on with the LG KU990 Viewty
- A teaser shot of Motorola’s 5 megapixel multimedia maven?


Tasty bits – 33 34 (Thanksgiving edition)

November 25, 2007

Here’s a “special” Thankgiving double edition of tasty bits for this past month…

1) Let’s start with mod-friendly Asus 701 (Eee) coverage:
- Ars Technica review with some hacking tips
- Notebook Review tweak guide
- Forbes background story
- Uneasy Silence article on running OS X

I tried following this article and running OS X on my Eee but the installation keeps hanging along the way – to be further investigated.

2) The Nokia N82 was announced and released (!) recently (instead of announcing now and releasing 6 months later, for a change):
- Additional info
- Unboxing video
- Multi-part review

The N82 appears similar in features to the N95 albeit in a candybar form factor with a smaller (2.4″) screen and a better (Xenon) flash. Sadly, there’s no HSDPA support for North America.

3) The Nokia N95 is still getting plenty of attention:
- US version review
- Screen auto-rotation application
- Original vs. 8 GB pros and cons
- 8GB vs. Apple iPhone comparison

4) Apple released an iPhone update (1.1.2) and the community soon responded with another jailbreak. Here’s more iPhone coverage:
- Send files directly from iPhone to another (1.1.1)
- Instant Jailbreak for iPhone and iPod touch (1.1.1)
- Stream Music from your iPhone to iTunes with Firefly (1.1.1)
- AFP for iPhone and iPod touch
- iRadio Brings Streaming Radio to iPhone
- iTunes 7.5 and iPhone 1.1.2 return custom ringtones
- T-Mobile to offer Germans unlocked iPhones

5) Finally, here’s more interesting assorted info:
- LG’s KU990 “Viewty” now available in Europe
- Neonode N2 makes its FCC debut
- Samsung F700 comes knockin’?
- Meizu’s M8 MiniOne gets touched
- All the Android coverage you want is at Engadget right now
- OQO product announcement Dec. 3rd in London
- Apple Tablet “confirmed” by Asus?
- New 13-inch MacBook rumored to be announced at MacWorld
- Nokia shows off Haptikos tactile touch screen technology
- Evolving S60: Touch UI, Sensor Framework and Accelerator Toolkit
- From S60 to iPhone


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